PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards told the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday during a budget hearing that new sources of funding for the PA State Police need to be found to keep PennDOT’s program on sound footing.

The amount of that money for roads and bridges could be increased substantially, Ms. Richards said, by reducing the amount that currently goes to state police.

This year, $755 million from the Motor License Fund goes to state police to pay for the troopers to patrol state roads. That amount, about 75 percent of the state police budget, is expected to increase to as much as $950 million by the end of the decade. It equals 12 cents per gallon equivalency of the state Oil Company Franchise Tax.

Ms. Richards told the committee she is working with State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker to identify other sustainable sources of funding for the agency. “We need to find funding [state police] can depend on,” she said. “[A funding change] would allow us to increase the level of our maintenance, which has been flat for several years.

APC continues to support H.R. 622 which would initiate a study of the amount spent on highway patrol by the State Police. This would establish the benchmark from which to find the amount needed to fill the void. HR 622, introduced by House Transportation Chair John Taylor is expected to be voted before the full House the week of March 14.